Using your family, friends, and observations of others around you, in books, in film, on television and such, write an essay categorizing the negative or positive characteristics of people. Your thesis must be narrowed to a specific topic and contain a debatable thesis (an opinion) that links the three types of people. For example, A, B, and C are the most maddening types of people (the clingy, the gossipy, and the judgmental for ex.); A, B, and C are the most valuable types of people to befriend; A, B, and C make the best coworkers; A, B, and C are the most productive types of people; A, B, and C are the most irritating people to be around; People who are A, B, and/or C make for terrible romantic partners, etc. Obviously, you are replacing “A, B, and C” with characteristics. The Visionary: often sees things you can’t (or aren’t able to—just yet).
This person will motivate and inspire you. Your current job might seem like a dead end, but one conversation with your Visionary, and you’ll be ready to clock in early and blow everyone away with your fresh ideas and renovated energy. Spotting a Visionary is pretty easy; they’re always out meeting new people, working on new and exciting projects themselves, and moving and executing on their ideas. If you want to find a Visionary in your field, start hanging out at events that are aligned with your career or passion. Be on the lookout for a person there who inspires you—maybe she’s a speaker, maybe he was asking the panel interesting questions, maybe she was just someone you felt really energized with after speaking to. Dive in and compliment this person on what intrigued you, then continue the relationship by going to coffee and connecting on social media. The Realist: This is the person in your network who will keep you grounded and create a nice balance with The Visionary. You want ownership of the new account the office just snagged? The Realist will help you organize your thoughts and create a plan for approaching the topic with your boss. The Realist is certainly not the Pessimist—a true Realist will help you find ways to improve on your ideas rather than just shut them down and force you to think clearly and level headedly on the matter. The Realist wants you to have the tools you need to succeed! To find the Realists in your life, be on the lookout for people moving up in their careers and getting promotions and plum assignments because they’re completely aware of what needs to be done to get to the next level.
Then, next time you’re dealing with a challenge or opportunity, ask to pick their brains on what’s worked so well for them. The Connector: Connectors keep networks alive. These are the people who truly have an outstanding network that functions beyond a LinkedIn request. They may be leaders in their industry or just well-known in their own circles, but their gift is naturally and authentically connecting to people and helping them connect to each other. Their motto is, “No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.” The Connector may or may not be able to help you—but if not, he or she will always guide you in the right direction and to the right person. Now, the Connector isn’t necessarily the Schmoozer—look for people who others genuinely like, respect, and go to. It may be the woman who always seems to have the hook-up in different departments, or the guy who’s a huge influencer in social media. Either way, be on the lookout for people with active schedules and calendars that are constantly booked. (But don’t fear, the Connector will always pencil you in.) The Judger: Judgmental people will find a way to criticize anything and everything they come in contact with. You could take the time to explain something to them in great detail but it goes in one ear and out the other. They come to their conclusions before they hear any facts — they don’t listen well and are horrible at communicating. Asking for advice or feedback from a judgmental person is a complete waste of time